Hands-on? minister gets a taste of July
By RENEE FORD
THE NSW Gaming and Racing Min- ister, Grant McBride, plans to tight- en the reins of the Thoroughbred Racing Act this year and prove he is a 'hands-on' minister. Mr McBride said he attended his first Grafton Cup race meeting since assuming the portfolio to 'get a picture of regional racing'. And he was dressed for the occa- sion too, with tiny horses adorning his blue tie. "In the last three years I've seen just how important the racing in- dustry is to NSW," he said. Acquiring a stablehand licence was another strategy Mr McBride employed to obtain a better under- standing of his portfolio. "I want to understand the indus- try from the bottom up," Mr McBride said. Mr McBride also appointed Ken Brown last month to undertake an independent review of the Thor- oughbred Racing Act. He met with Clarence River Jockey Club chairman Bob Pavitt and chief executive Dale Thompson in the committee room on Thurs- day to discuss the potential changes. The review is timely given the recent end to the debilitating race broadcasting war. It is five years since the previous review. "Given the challenges and oppor- tunities facing the thoroughbred racing industry, this is an ideal time to ensure the Act supports the future viability and growth of racing," Mr McBride said.
"This review is an excellent op- portunity to build new partnerships and move the industry forward as a whole. "Ken Brown is well placed to un- dertake this review; he has a wealth of experience in the admin- istration of racing in NSW, and has the confidence of the many organis- ations involved in the industry. "Throughout the review process, Mr Brown will be consulting with the racing industry to determine whether the policy objectives of the Act remain valid and appropriate. "This is a clean slate across the whole of the industry and there are no predicted outcomes." Mr Brown will consult directly with representative bodies within the thoroughbred industry, includ- ing Racing NSW, the Australian Jockey Club and the Sydney Turf Club. "It is also very important that we receive input from the wider community, and I encourage all those interested in the future suc- cess of the thoroughbred racing in- dustry to make a submission to the Review," he said.